Monday, September 20, 2021

Movie Review: "Man of God" (2021) - Reviewed by Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria

As you may know from the 26th of August there began to be screened in the cinemas of Greece and Cyprus the film "Man of God", which is a film dedicated to Saint Nektarios of Pentapolis the Wonderworker.

Saint Nektarios is one of my beloved Saints and lived within the environment of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. I would like to convey my thoughts, those that were created by watching the film, because I believe that this film can give a lot of consolation and strength to the faithful in these difficult days that humanity is going through.

The film is directed by the Serbian in origin Yelena Popovic who also wrote the script. Many internationally renowned actors participated. I think that for the first time a film is presented to the Greek community that extols a Saint of the Church with equivalent seriousness and professionalism.

Of course, we all know the life of Saint Nektarios, the injustices and slanders that he endured, we have read many books about it. However, it is very different when all these are imprinted on the big screen. They say that an image is equivalent to a thousand words and they are absolutely right. The Saint spoke in such a vivid way to my heart.

The protagonist performed the Saint in the best way. Something very difficult, for though with the art of acting you can present on the screen the character, the feelings and the most difficult personality, but when you have to impersonate a Saint there then things become much more difficult. I initially had doubts that the Saint could be depicted by an actor, however, seeing Aris Servetalis playing the role of the Saint, his expression, his movements, his words and his silence, I was amazed and was attracted by his depiction. I said:

"This is exactly how Saint Nektarios must have been!"

Moreover the other actors were also very good in their roles. The characters that appeared to be very good were Kostas, the secretary of Saint Nektarios, Christos the President of Rizarios School, Mrs. Voula, the mother of the novice Maria who slandered the Saint, the blind nun Xeni, the nun Euphemia and all the others.

I think it is impossible for someone to see the film and not be moved, to not shed a tear for one scene or another. I can't go into technical details about the film, for I am not a specialist, but I understand that it has a high aesthetic sense and gives the expected result. The Saint speaks to the hearts of the spectators, and this is the most important thing. The film gives messages of faith, hope, patience, humility, holiness. Holiness and the Grace of God is what defeats every temptation, every trial, every dead end, and not our own intelligence and bragging.

From the environment of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Saint Nektarios was slandered and persecuted in 1891. Seventy-eight years after his dormition, after his expulsion from Alexandria, on 15 January 1998, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria issued a Synodal rebuttal "to seek forgiveness from Saint Nektarios because of this injustice by the fathers and brothers of the Patriarchal throne of Alexandria."

And now, as the humble and the latest heir to the throne of the Apostle Mark, I enthusiastically recommend to every Orthodox person to see this film, and they will acquire Saint Nektarios as their helper and protector. He will become their true friend, for Saint Nektarios was indeed a man of God.

The Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.